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Lemon Verbena Lemonade

Lemon verbena adds hints of floral and citrus to homemade lemonade. If you can’t find it, substitute mint. You can also use honey in place of the sugar, though you may need to add a few more tablespoons to achieve the ideal sweet-tart balance.

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups water
  • 8 fresh lemon verbena leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups fresh lemon juice
  • Ice cubes as needed
  • 2 lemons, thinly sliced

Directions:

In a saucepan over high heat, bring 2 cups of the water to a boil. Remove from the heat, add the 8 lemon verbena leaves and sugar, and stir until the sugar dissolves. Let steep for 10 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a pitcher, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Add the remaining 4 cups water and the lemon juice to the lemon verbena syrup and stir well. Fill 6 to 8 tumblers with ice and divide the lemonade evenly among the glasses. Garnish each glass with lemon verbena leaves and lemon slices and serve. Serves 6 to 8.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Two in the Kitchen, by Christie Dufault & Jordan Mackay (Weldon Owen, 2012).